May 20, 2020
Allison Houtz and Kristie Bandy share a passion for quality Early Childhood Education. Turns out, that runs in the family.
Kristie Bandy, Director of Prescott YMCA Child Care Center, is Allison’s mom. “She was my first teacher, says Allison. “Her lifework of supporting young children and families has spilled over into my life and the life of my almost 4 year-old daughter. She’s one of my pillars that elevates my dreams, hopes, and efforts in our community. Early care and advocacy runs through my veins. She’s a world changer and I’m proud she’s my mama.”
AzAEYC spoke with Kristie as part of an AzAEYC Early Educators sharing stories project during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Allison Houtz is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Nature & Place and Associate Faculty, Early Childhood Education, at Prescott College. The Center focuses on designing innovative nature and place focused college course curricula for Prescott College students in the Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education undergraduate and graduate programs.
Allison traveled to Washington, D.C. in February 2020 to attend the NAEYC Public Policy Forum with a team of representatives from Arizona, including AzAEYC’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Bucher, and First Things First Chief Policy Advisor Liz Barker Alvarez. The team from Arizona also included Alexis Susdorf, First Things First Senior Director of Government Affairs, and Jennifer Argyros, Program Director of Family Resource Centers for University of Arizona Cooperative, Santa Cruz County.
Each Arizona team member scheduled appointments to speak with Arizona Congressional representatives and/or staff about funding early childhood education, and to provide information about the profession. In the video below, watch as Allison shares her personal child care story with a Chad Michaels, legislative assistant from Congress member David Schweikert’s office.
Rep. Schweikert represents the sixth District of Arizona.
To engage in rich conversations and to have the opportunity to make an impact on behalf of young families with lawmakers is a reminder of the freedom, and the responsibility, that we all are fortunate to enjoy, noted Allison. Her mom is grateful as well.
“I am very proud of my daughter,” says Kristie. “She and I share a strong bond and connection through our work and passion for young children. The Early Education community is fortunate to have her being an advocate for the little ones.”